Archive for March 2011

Don’t Be Afraid!

March 31, 2011

Scripture: Mark 6.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Mark 6:50 (NLT)

50 They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

In a world that seems so full of chaos, strife, confusion, disastrous happenings, war, poverty, hatred and the like, our Savior reaches out His hand and says to us “Don’t be afraid. Take courage, or be encouraged, for I am there”, in other words all else is unimportant and temporary. Take strength and encouragement in knowing that I am in control and am right there with you. Wow, what a Savior! It is in Him that I place my faith and my trust friend. For there is none other in this world that any of us can rest our faith in and have that kind of assurance, comfort and relief. To have this assurance, we must have a very personal relationship with Christ. Do you know Him today? May I introduce you to my Friend, my Savior, my Lord and my Master?

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I pray that today I may learn to always depend on You, no matter what overwhelms me, and what may seem to be out of control around me. Please help me to place my hand in Your outstretched hand, so that Your power, Your love, Your forgiveness and Your divine direction may envelope me, fill me and direct my daily path. I pray that anyone reading this today may have that same assurance, if they truly know You as Lord and Savior of their lives. Otherwise, I pray that You will speak to their heart today with extra encouragement to make the most important decision of their lives. Love them Lord, into a sweet personal relationship with You, their creator.

 

àI would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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As You Go, Tell the Good News!

March 29, 2011

Scripture: Mark 5.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Mark 5:18-20 (NLT)

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him.

19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.”

20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Often we want to be in the limelight, or we want to be identified with a popular evangelist, or we want to be recognized by our church members for what we could do on the mission field or in an area outside of our church. This man who had been demon possessed, but since healed by Jesus, wanted to be with Jesus and minister alongside Him. Just as Jesus told this man, I believe that He would quickly say to us today: friend, get your own house in order first. Before we should talk about going on a mission trip, have we practiced ministering in our own home, or in our neighborhood? How about ministering to those in need right inside our church family? As we share our faith with others we are expanding the ministry of Jesus and the church. As we share our faith with others we are really witnessing to them, and the Bible repeatedly tells us to be bold in our witnessing and sharing of our faith so that we can truly minister to those with little, or no faith. Let us have a renewed commitment to share our faith with those that we come in contact with today. As we go, let us tell!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, I am thankful for all You have done in my life, and I can very easily tell You that. Today, please help me to share that news with others that I come in contact with. May others know that the joy I have, comes from You and You alone. May they have a desire to know the One from whom I gain my joy, so that they too may share in this wonderful joy and endless flow of blessings. Thank You Father for Your joy in my heart today!

 

àI would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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Make God First in Your Life

March 28, 2011

Scripture: Leviticus 26.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Leviticus 26:1-12 (NLT)

1 “Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I am the Lord your God.

2 You must keep my Sabbath days of rest and show reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.

3 “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. 5 Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land.

6 “I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land. 7 In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword.

9 “I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. 10 You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest! 11 I will live among you, and I will not despise you. 12 I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

This chapter presents the two paths of obedience and disobedience that God set before the people. The people of the Old Testament were warned over and over against worshiping idols. We might wonder how they could deceive themselves with these objects of wood and stone. Yet God could well give us the same warning, for we are prone to put idols before him. Idolatry is making anything more important than God, and our lives are full of that temptation. Money, entertainment, sporting activities, looks, success, reputation, security—these are some of today’s idols. As you look at these false gods that promise everything you want but nothing you need, does idolatry seem so far removed from our lives today? I feel like the Word is speaking directly to us. While I only copied the scripture for the results of obedience that God promised to His people, there are equally the number of disastrous things that would result if they disobeyed His decrees and commands. I have a saying that I try to follow in my life, and it is that instead of saying I don’t have time for something, say that it was not a priority to me at the time. If you follow this little rule, I believe that it will help you keep things/gods in perspective. For as we look the idols in our lives, we have basically said that it is OK to do those things because God will still be there when we need Him. Friend, remember that God must be first in your life. I believe that you will see from this passage that as we take care of our relationship with Him, He will take care of our needs. What are idols today may still be important in our Christian walk, but we must put them in perspective. God first! Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I am reminded again this morning that I must make you first in my life. I must make sure that there are no other gods/idols that interfere with my relationship with You. Please forgive me for the times that I have allowed other things to interfere. Please help me today to begin anew by placing You first in my life. To allow everything else to be secondary, so that I may give particular attention to Your will and Your work and the needs of Your church to reach, and minister to the lost. On judgment day nothing else will matter. Even during my earthly walk, nothing else matters when I think about the many ways that You are looking to bless those that are obedient to Your decrees and commands. Thank You for loving me enough to remind me of this Nugget from Your Word this morning!

 

àI would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
ß

God Provides!

March 25, 2011

Scripture: Leviticus 24-25.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Leviticus 25:20-22 (NLT)

20 But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’

21 Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years.

22 When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the large crop of the sixth year. In fact, you will still be eating from that large crop when the new crop is harvested in the ninth year.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

The Bible records how faithful the Israelites were in following all that God instructed Moses to tell them however, as in these verses, it is evident that they sometimes had questions and concerns about what the outcome might be if they followed God’s commands. I am encouraged by the way that God showed them that He had everything under control and would provide for them if they followed His commands. Today we may be in a similar position. When God tells us to leave something that we are very comfortable with and move to unfamiliar territory, we may question if that move is really right for us. When we feel like we have lost everything and wonder how we could possibly survive and do all that we want, we may sometime wonder if God is really there with us. Friend, we must remember that God said that He will always be with us. He will never put more on us than we could bear. He loves us. He cares for us. He is our King and He will provide for His people. He will never leave us alone. Cast our cares upon Him. With all this in mind, thankfully we can rejoice in knowing that He will carry us through our situations. Let us place our faith and trust in Him today. Let’s rest our cares and concerns in His hands and watch Him provide for us in ways that we could never think of on our own. He will provide for years to come, not just for the moment in which we live. He did it for the Israelites and He’ll do it for us. Praise be to God!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Thank You Father for this assurance this morning. Please help and encourage me to follow Your will, for I need You to provide for me each and every day! Thank You for Your powerful and protective hand upon my family yesterday in their auto accident. Please help me to wait for, look for, and depend on You as You provide for my needs, just like You did for the Israelites. I love You Lord Jesus!

Let Your ‘Light’ Shine

March 24, 2011

Scripture: Mark 4.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Mark 4:21-23 (NLT)

21 Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.

22 For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.

23 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Many Christians today are hidden from sight, reluctant to be identified as Christians. This sounds a lot like a beautiful lamp that I might buy from Walmart, but leave it in the box at home. It does nothing at all for the dark room that I wanted to light up. If that lamp isn’t used for the intended purpose, to be light in the dark room I bought it for, or to help me see while working or reading in that dark room, what good is it to me? What about us as Christians, do we let our ‘Jesus’ light shine so that others may know the light of Jesus, or that they may know that they need not continue to live in this dark world of sin? If not, I believe that we should re-examine our relationship with Jesus, because there are some serious ‘baskets’ that are preventing us. Let’s think about what those ‘baskets’ might be: how about disobedience, or embarrassment, or resentment, or stubbornness of heart or even complacency? Around our home we use a ‘snuffer’ to shut out burning candles, to shut out its light. Let’s examine our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit that dwells within us to help us determine what the ‘snuffers’ are in our Christian walk. Could Jesus possibly be proud of the way that we represent Him or promote Him in everything that we say or do? If not, we need to solicit His help and His guidance to remove the ‘snuffers’ from our lives and help us shine like never before, especially in the presence of our friends that have not accepted Jesus personally.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father there is so much that we can say about the ‘Light’ that shines in our lives since we met You and accepted You into our lives. May I remove any ‘snuffer’ that may block me from letting Your light shine through me. Without being boastful or prideful, may others see Your light shine in and through me in my everyday walk. People need the Lord. May You so shine through me that they may see You and want to accept You as their Lord and Savior so that Your light may shine through them. Please forgive me for any obstacles that I have allowed to block Your light from shining through me. May I example the true light of Jesus today, is my humble prayer.

Set Apart to Be ‘Holy’

March 21, 2011

Scripture: Leviticus 20.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Leviticus 20:6-8 (NLT)

6 “I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community.

7
So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God.

8 Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord who makes you holy.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Although God had proven Himself to the Israelites for a number of years while on their journey to the Promised Land, in this passage He is still coaching them to live a life pleasing to Him. In fact He is helping them rid the land of folk that have turned against Him, and who have caused a stench in His nostrils, so He is working with the Israelites to insure that they don’t become just like them. I am convinced that everything is placed in God’s Word with a purpose in mind. I am also convinced that just because we live in what some may consider a ‘Christian’ nation, God has reason to be very angry with us because of our disobedience to His commands and disregard for His leadership. In fact, He may even accuse us of ‘spiritual prostitution’, as He did in verse 6, because we cater to other gods rather than our Father, God. My favorite part of this passage is where God commands that we set ourselves apart to be holy, for He is holy, and if we are His and committed to following Him, then we are to be holy. ‘Holy’ people will make a ‘holy’ nation. We will then be looked upon as a ‘holy’ nation! In the meantime, I believe that God has as much work to do with us, as He did with the Israelites. Verse 8 tells us how we are to be a ‘holy’ people – we are to get back to the basics and keep God’s commands, decrees, commandments, laws. These things were not established to restrict us, but to help us identify with the Creator of this universe. In other words, He meant for us to live under certain rules and guidelines so that we might represent Him well and do the Father’s will. He provided the rule book and guide book to help us do just that. Let’s turn our eyes away from the television long enough to see and hear what’s in the Book so that we may follow the commands of our Savior, be more like Him, represent Him well before a lost world, and be the ‘holy’ people that He chose us to be. This is a deliberate act by us, so let’s go ahead and make the move by setting ourselves apart from this world, and seek God’s face as we journey towards a life of holiness, even as our God is holy.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, we may look at ourselves and wonder if we could ever be considered ‘holy’, especially by a Savior who epitomized the meaning of holiness to us. But because You have demanded this of us here in Your Word, I have no reason to doubt that You can direct me and lead me to a life of holiness. In other words, a life that exemplifies You in every way. Father, please teach me Your ways. Teach me, and lead me in a life of holiness. Not that I may impress anyone here on this earth, but that I may follow Your will for my life, and allow my life to be pleasing to You. I believe that most people have heard of You and probably long to see someone like You here on this earth. You have demanded that we be holy, even as You are. May others see this holiness in me each day, all for Your glory, and to draw them to the cross where they too may know true divine holiness.

Holiness in Personal Conduct

March 18, 2011

Scripture: Leviticus 19.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Leviticus 19:1-2 (NLT)

1 The Lord also said to Moses,

2 “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

The very first words I read in this chapter this morning caught my immediate attention. Let me set the stage and compare this to how applicable I see this to our lives today. God had just rescued the Israelites from the abuse of the Egyptians. He brought over 1,000,000 people through days, weeks, months and years of challenges through a wilderness travel experience. He kept them safe from theirs enemies, healed their sick, provided food and water in miraculous ways, and while not just proving Himself holy before these people, He provided many ways of showing them how they should live. Does this not sound like the way that our God still loves, protects and directs us today? In the verses observed here though, we can see how God seemed to have said to Moses: look, I want you to share with my people that they are set apart as my chosen people, they have seen my hand at work among them and they have seen that I am a holy God. I want them to live their lives imitating me, so they must be holy also. Wow, in applying this to our lives today, I believe that we can see that God is saying that we should leave the dirt and filth of our old lives behind us, and as taught in our decision to accept Jesus, we are to make a 180 and turn the other way, for we no longer follow the ways of Satan, the world and sin, but now serve a wonderful Savior that has shown us the way to finally be holy, loving, kind and destined for heaven. The rest of this chapter goes on to explain various principles that Moses was to bring to the attention of the Israelites, and these are still applicable to us today, because we have fallen into the same bad habits. Here are a few of the highlights that I feel are still applicable to us today:

  • Respect for our parents;
  • Observing a day of rest and worship – Son worship, not ‘sun’ worship!!
  • Helping the poor and needy;
  • Honesty in our dealings with others;
  • Careful in our speech – may others know whose we are through our speech and mannerisms;
  • Respect and help those who are handicapped – blind, deaf, etc;
  • Be a Christian boss and/or employer;
  • Don’t gossip – lift up, don’t tear down someone else;
  • Love your neighbor as yourself – physical neighbor, relative, anyone we spend time around;

Instead of highlighting the whole chapter, I hope that I have given you enough to encourage you to get into the Word and follow its teachings. As a practicing professional you would follow the guidelines and rules of the profession so that there will not be grounds for a suit. In Christianity, we follow the ways of God and His written Word (the Bible) so that we may honor God and look forward to His future rewards in heaven!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, thank You for being my God. Thank You for showing me how to live my life pleasing to You. Help me to brush aside the ways of this world and stay focused on serving You, and practicing my everyday living in accordance with Your directions that are spelled out in Your guide/rule book, the Bible. Please may I be holy, even as You are holy!

We Will Act Like Our Master

March 17, 2011

Scripture: Leviticus 17-18.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Leviticus 18:2-5 (NLT)

2
“Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. I am the Lord your God.

3
So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life.

4 You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God.

5 If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

God delivered the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt. He took care of them in some miraculous ways each day while in the wilderness and yet He found it an ongoing opportunity to see them overcome their worldly weaknesses each day. Friends, this is exactly how I see our situation today. God received us as a forgiven people when we accepted Him as Lord and Savior, yet we struggle through life each day facing very serious temptations and subsequently very challenging decisions on which master we will follow. Jesus is reminding me through His word today, that He alone is God and considering that I have accepted His as Lord and Ruler of my life, I must act like Him, obey His decrees/laws/written Word and follow His will and way every day. I must act so much like He did when He walked this earth that folk will take me for a ‘Jesus kid’ or a Christian or a child of God. In growing up I remember my parents saying that I was not to act like my unruly friends, but in a manner like they had taught me and brought me up. I feel like God is reminding me here to do the same. Some key ways of doing this are included in the verses observed above:

  1. Do not act like the people that do not know God;
  2. Do not imitate our old way of life;
  3. Obey God’s regulations and decrees;

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

I am a blessed man, and I feel like I can say that because although I may not have been looked down on as an awful person, yet God accepted me as His child when I invited Him to rule and reign in my life. As part of my commitment to Him I promised to follow His will and way every day. Thank You for reminding me in the above of the areas that I must emphasize on to truly declare You Lord each day. Thank You for Your Word to guide me each day. Thank You for Your love that surrounds me every day. Thank You for the hope that is mine in knowing that one day I will be with You in heaven. While here on this earth, I humbly ask that You guide my every step, my every decision, my every word and every action so that I may declare who is Lord of my life. Without ever saying a word, may others recognize to whom I belong.

In Need of a Doctor today?

March 16, 2011

Scripture: Mark 2.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Mark 2:15-17 (NLT)

15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.)

16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

It is so easy for Christians to hang out with Christians because we have so much in common, and we feel comfortable that no one will question us if seen associating with folk of the same belief. Praise God, Jesus was different in this respect. He shows us that if we are to reach the unsaved, and if we are to truly show God’s love to all people, then we had better make ourselves friendly to all. When we look down our noses at folk, we must remember that they have a very hard time looking up to us and accepting anything that we may have to say to them. Jesus came so that sinners might recognize their need for a Savior and feel welcomed in coming to Him for forgiveness of their sins. As Christians, we are to be Christ followers and therefore follow the lead that He displayed while here on this earth. How are we doing? Do we show love to the sometimes unlovable? Are we humble enough to sit and listen to the deep struggles and concerns of someone that may be deep in sin? Unless we do this, how will they know Jesus?

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I pray that You will open my heart today and make me aware of those that need You as Savior. Make me very aware that although they may not look like me, or they may not follow the same guidelines of living that I follow, and they may not even attend or ever attended church, please help me to see them and You see them. Please allow me to present myself in way that they will see Your love, acceptance and willingness to listen and help them to overcome their shortcomings and see a better way – a way that leads to Jesus! Help me to set my selfish desires and ideals aside so that You may shine through me today!

The Desire and faith for Healing

March 15, 2011

Scripture: Mark 1.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Mark 1:40-42 (NLT)

40 A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.

41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”

42 Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

On our first reading of this we may feel sorry for the man with leprosy because we know that it is such an awful disease. We need to look at a few other factors in this story though, and apply them to our lives today:

  1. The man had a desire to be healed of the disease that had a grip on him. He was tired of people rejecting him and scorning him. He wanted to be useful in his society, but had very real limitations because of his disease.
  2. He had heard about the miracles being performed by Jesus, and he was convinced that he too could be healed.
  3. He was in need so he didn’t demand anything of Jesus, but he wanted to make Jesus aware of his faith.
  4. He didn’t feel so sorry for himself so as to exclude himself from the presence of, and possible healing from, Jesus.
  5. Jesus had compassion on the man. I believe that he was touched by his boldness, his desire and his faith.
  6. Jesus was willing to oblige. This sounds to me like Jesus may have meant: now that I see you are willing and ready for a miracle, I am willing to perform it.
  7. Jesus has the power to do ALL things. This leper may have never heard about another leper being healed, but he had heard enough that he placed his faith and trust in Jesus and that He would fulfill His (Jesus) will for his life.

Friends, I believe that you will see that this story has many similarities to what we face today. We may have separated ourselves from God, from the church and perhaps even from the general populace. It’s not until we want to do something about that, and stop feeling sorry for ourselves that we can truly move forward. It is also important for us to stop and recognize the source of all power, all healing, all perfection. Then we must be willing to give up the old life, humble ourselves before a righteous, yet powerful God, and allow Him to heal us of our imperfections and provide the strength, boldness and direction for a new life in Him. What are you waiting for? Jesus is waiting for your decision, your wish, and your desire to see change in your life. Let it be today, friend. You may not be around for another opportunity tomorrow.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, what a powerful reminder this morning. Please help me to surrender my weaknesses and imperfections to You today knowing that as I am willing to receive a touch from You, and give up the illness/sin that hold me back, then You will answer my call for help. Like Mark in the very first verse of this chapter, I am excited about the ‘Great News’ of Jesus Christ, and I seek to allow You to have Your will and way in my life today, dear Jesus! Praise be to God!